Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Venturing Out -

It’s been months since I have traveled to shop in any city of mentionable size.

We are talking – maybe February?

In January I was in Phoenix, so definitely then.  February had me traveling to Bedford, Virginia (Gosh, it feels like a year go now!) but even then I drove past Roanoke, didn’t stop, so I’m not sure that even counts.

We are getting close to half-way through June now.

I have stuck close at hand doing everything I needed between Independence, Virginia – population 881 according to the 2020 cencus –to nearby Jefferson, NC and West Jefferson NC with a combined population of 2,898 which makes it just big enough to have 3 grocery stores including a Walmart, a CVS and Walgreens, a Lowes, a Dollar Tree, tractor Supply, Roses, and True Value with a smattering of fast food places and other eateries.

It’s more than enough for what I need – but sometimes you have got to hit up the bigger city.  One that has a Target, a Costco or Sam’s Club.

And it’s a jungle out there!

In search of “step on” trash cans for Quiltville Inn!

I made the 1 1/2 hour drive to Bristol VA in search of amongst other things – trash cans.  Major destination? Sam’s Club (Because there is no Costco and Costco is a 2 hour drive away.)

IKEA? More than 3 hours away in Charlotte.

Who would think it would be hard to find trash cans??  Evidently they are also in short supply.

And though this map makes the route look easy – it is winding and rolling all the way.  But a beautiful drive, and the best way I could think of to clear my head, see some different scenery and get a break from the routine of daily life.

Target had ZERO step cans.  In fact, Target looked like they were going through a liquidation sale without signs.  The shelves were all half-bare, they didn’t have anything I was in search of and so I left empty handed.  Even the patio furniture section which I have usually found to be good was just sad.

I know this past 3 months has hit big corporations really hard as well because we just haven’t been able to be out there purchasing what we need – so they are not restocking yet?

It was encouraging to see that all of the businesses had signs of “You must be wearing a mask to enter.”  However – when you get inside – less than 1/2 the people are wearing masks.  That part I don’t get.

Sam’s Club was next on my list.  Again – a sign “You must wear a mask to shop on these premises.”  Get inside – less than half the people are mask clad.

I found a big kitchen step can here, but no bathroom sized ones.

I DID find the metal serving trays and ice tubs shown in the top photo on the porch.  Those made me happy.  I found toilet paper in the BIG size so we are good to go.

From here I ran to the Walmart that was next to the Sam’s Club (Isn’t that the way that they are often found – side-by-side?)  and I didn’t even need to move the car.

Cat litter, bug spray, citronella candles, table runners for the outside tables (see top photo!) and other things I needed for the inn like body wash and make up remover face wipes.

Again – whole families wandering around like it is social hour and no one is wearing a mask.  Kids playing with all of the toys in the toy aisles - I can see why people are throwing up their hands and saying “whatever!” 

This is cute!

To hang the paper towel dispenser in the downstairs bath I had to remove a curio shelf from the wall, leaving the anchor/screw holes visible.  I needed something to hang above it to cover the holes.  Tada.

By the time I got back to the inn to unload everything it was 5pm and within minutes The Hubster pulled his pickup behind the van and out bounded Zoey who acted like I’d been gone a year - and how could I have done that to her?  LOL!

Hooray for step cans in the bathrooms!

This is the downstairs bath, the closest to the Quilting Quarters and used the most throughout the day – so much paper towel waste will be happening here. I am glad I found a “sideways” opening can that would fit in this otherwise wasted space.

The ceilings in the back hallway/stairwell and upstairs back hall were finished last night and by the time we were done we were exhausted. But it looks so good!  This afternoon we will put the furniture and decor back and get things looking the way they should.

Sani 10% Sanitizer/disinfectant/viricide going to work.

But how do you read that label on the concentrated gallon??

If your eyes are like mine -

You zoom in on your phone camera screen and take a photo so you can blow it up on your computer and actually read the fine print

Sometimes when ordering at a restaurant where the menu is on the wall behind the cashier – back lit, I also can’t read it unless I put my phone up there, zoom in to read.  I’m sure it looks weird to many, but it makes it so I can read it without straining my eyes.  My phone camera has been a useful tool for much more than just taking a picture of cute things.

All the little sprayers are for the bathrooms and also for the tables in the Quilting Quarters. There is a larger spray bottle for the kitchen surfaces, and there will be large spray bottles for the showers as well (when they arrive – ordered from Amazon, delivery pending)

We are almost ready.

And if you have made it this far – let’s share some quilty content!  I am still loving all of the shares happening on Instagram with our #unityquiltalong hash tag.  SO many gorgeous quilts.  Take a peek:


I made my quilt rectangular to fit one of the beds at Quiltville Inn, but there are ways to make it the way you want.  Mrpdemi continued the flying geese all the way around in part 5 instead of just adding them to the top and bottom which allowed the next rounds to also go all the way around. 

Sometimes that may mean that extra spacer sashings are needed to make the math work – This is where YOU get to put on your thinking cap and do it!

I just love the colors, don’t you?

This one by rainbowflasmlp!

I love this quilt, and the quilt model is precious as well!  What a great use of black/grey/pinky red!

How is your own Unity quilt coming?  Keep it moving forward, even by baby steps if necessary.  And continue to post your shares!

Today I am throwing myself back into normality – all the usuals.  It’s a bit cooler today (so far) with a bit of cloud cover.

Likely no hike today as there are things that didn’t get done yesterday due to my trip to the “big town.” But tomorrow morning – I think I’ll be out fairly early and try to get that in.

Anything interesting going on for your day?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

It is okay to change your mind about things you once thought you never would.

We were never put here to stay in the same place.

We can do better, be better.

Have a Terrific Tuesday, everyone!


  1. Doesn't it feel strange to go back out in the world? I haven't been far - to a florist to pick out a memorial tree to honor my dad. We were the only ones with masks on there!
    How is Emmy Lou doing?

  2. My granddaughter and I are traveling from Arkansas to Kansas tomorrow for a softball tournament. Wipes in the car, gloves and we have our mask. I did start this week on a Cream and Teal Log Cabin Quilt for her pitching coach. Going to make a few mask today while my son and grandson work on our yard. Life is so good right now. I know there is a lot going on in the world and I hate it, but I am trying to be calm and enjoy my space in the world.

  3. Bonnie, I am with you on the shopping thing. It is great to be in the country but it places us away from major chain stores, but so worth the peace and quiet! We are blessed to get everything we really NEED but I long to go to a store and just drift around. I don't buy antiques as a rule, but I love to look at them in antique mall settings, and thrift shops. For some reason it just gives me a mental vacation. I wish you much, much success with your quilting inn!

  4. You are always in motion. Inn looks good.

  5. I was wondering how Emmy Lou has been doing. Has her problem straightened out?

  6. I was out early today to Costco (senior hour)...and happy to report everyone had a mask that I saw...then to Trader Joe's which is also taking everything seriously, limiting how many in/out and masks!! Now I can sew! Working on finishing my En Provence.....all the parts were made, now putting the blocks together!! hot and humid here in coastal NC! Enjoy the day!

  7. I found a trash can like yours at The Container Store -- not cheap, but excellent quality. Ventured out to the gym today. This is a hospital-run, senior citizen facility with very strict sanitation rules, so I felt safe. It's good to be out again (but being very careful!!)

  8. So, here's the deal in my small town in western nc ... can't get anything because stores can't get anything. Most things are made where?!?! Think about it- where?!?! China!
    I'd hate to be building a house right now cause lumber is short and it's going to be worse and forget anything garden related. I think everyone in America is at the garden centers. Remember "victory gardens?" Well that's what's happening around here lol or at least they are just home Ann bored and want fix up the yard. We are gateway into the smoky mountains from Atlanta and Florida and Georgia ... somplayes from allllll over! rhey stop here to shop and load up on groceries and gas and go to breweries etc before renting their cabins for the week or going on to wherever. "We don't have to work? Let's go on vacation!"Our cases skyrocketed when things opened up. I don't go anywhere as a rule - but what I have to and stock up and stay home and wear mask and always wipes in car and even gloves at times - yeah little families of kids running all around with no masks touching evwrythont and having an outing going shopping ... that's all normal even in my small town. Yeah I see signs at lowes (had to go to 3 different ones in 3 towns and one was a state away , to find lumber needed for my boyfriend to finish a project) that say only enter or only exit and garden center closed except outside and that's where the Y for Jose is I need and none of them have any- can't get them! Made inn china) but nobody is wearing a mask ! I still do the right thing and I even tell people- 6 feet man! It's gonna get worse before it gets better. Shortages have BEEN here in western nc. All around even down into ga. Everything is going up also and no good sales.
    I don't know how these fabric companies are gonna keep up with fabric production.
    Maybe we will see some USA companies open?!?! Hmmmmm... now wouldn't that be a novel idea?

  9. Taking my day off to make a few more masks as mine are showing wear and tear after using them all day long in our store. Plan to bind some quilts to hand sew down on vacation next week. I also want to kit up some blocks either from my Frolic quilt or my Unity quilt to take along on vacation too. I never go without my sewing machine. Lol! We plan to isolate in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains after a extremely busy spring season in our garden center. Blessings to you as you prepare for retreaters. Hugs 🤗

  10. I found a small step on trash at ikea! Inexpensive.

  11. I have enjoyed being at home and not feeling the pressure to get out and socialize. I love people but I embraced the solitude. The stores here have some bare shelves as well. It will probably be a while before they are back to normal. The quilts are beautiful.

  12. Bonnie, We live in the country in the Arkansas Ozark Mts. It's so quiet here at the end of the road! We retired here from KC, MO, lived there for around 30 years, so we needed a change of scenery! We live between 2 towns, one in MO and one in AR. Both are about the same distance in the state they are in. If we need to go to a larger town there is always Springfield, MO which is 50 miles away! My daughter has talked me into ordering groceries on-line to the store in MO. My first experience was only partially acceptable! I am 70 years old next month, so it should be a logical choice. But, I found that I am going to have to go to the store for my meat and produce! I have found that around here it is about the same thing about masks. Half of the people wear them and half of the people don't! I'm trying to stay safe at home and don't make any unnecessary stops! I am enjoying your Zoey Jo! I have a Border Collie and she is a handful. I have found Rosie is always wanting to learn new things like commands, etc. and she is 16 years old! We have had a good time with her and her 'school' lessons. Thank you for all you do for us! Enjoy your posts every day! Joyce from the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.

  13. Sigh . . . . it feels like people have decided that its ok to have a certain amount of illness and deaths from this virus! "My freedom is more important than your life." You are right: We CAN do better. If only we had consistent messages that wearing a mask is protecting others (not yourself) and stores could just refuse to serve people who refuse to protect their workers. Think about how many people a day the average store clerk comes in contact with. Ugh!

  14. Sometimes when I go to the store or UPS, to ship or mail, I want to wear a sign around my neck along with my mask that says," Thanks for wearing your mask as I am recovering from cancer treatments, have a child at home fighting brain cancer, and a husband working daily at an Assisted Living facility. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated!

    1. I agree with you! I also have a daughter recovering from cancer chemo treatments and another surgery in a couple of months. A mother in a memory care facility that I can not go see yet I too appreciate those who wear a mask and try to stay 6 ft away instead of getting as close to me as they can.

  15. I've been using that same trick with the iPhone. Haven't had to carry reading glasses for years! I do get some strange looks though.

  16. You asked...anything exciting going on? Glad you asked. I had a 4 patch leader and ender project going on. I had no preconceived idea what I would do with them. Then I took a class from Margaret Solomon Gunn on grid based fills. Ahhh the light went on. So not going into detail but I designed a simple quilt with large plain blocks between the double 4 patches. Voila! I now have a place to practice my grid fills. It turned out amazingly beautiful.

  17. outages are wacky...for weeks no pizza crust mix or low sodium progresso tomato soup at walmart...

  18. I bought a bunch of those Ikea step on trash cans because our golden doodle loves to steal the tissues in the trash cans. Good choice. Hope you can open soon.

  19. I was raised in a small town and have never been much of a shopper - exceptions being quilt stores, DIY and office supply stores. But if they aren't enforcing the mask recommendations, those stores won't be seeing me for a long time. I haven't minded the stay at home guidelines either - have been busy all day long and never bored as I can always find something to do. I'm sort of disappointed by the number of people who just won't follow the recommendations. Keep up the great blogs, Bonnie. I look forward to reading each and every one. Soon I'll be able to "attend" the retreats via your stories and pictures.

  20. Sadly shelves are empty all over this country. I went to a LQS last week.... so many bare spots! I asked what was up and was told many items aren’t in the warehouse and they aren’t able to get them right now or it’s taking forever. One was aurifil thread! 😕 Our whole supply chain seems to have been affected. I can’t even comment on the mask wearing and the family outings to the stores..... I just smh and stay home where I’m safe. I’m safe with my fabric and my fur babies!

  21. I have not ventured out But today is the day! Enjoyed your trip.

  22. I read your blog every day Bonnie and it's keeping me in touch with the world. I live in a senior apt. building and we're still in lockdown. Some days I feel like I'm in prison! The upside is that I'm a lifelong quilter and try to do some sewing every day. Quilting has always been my tranquility and takes away the stresses of every day life. There is always something interesting up on the design wall. I can't even remember the last time I was in a store ... but I really don't miss shopping. I do, however, miss going to the lqs to just get inspiration from all the beautiful fabrics. Keep up the good work Bonnie! "One day at a time".

  23. I enjoyed reading this today. WOW 1.5 hour drive. Well, I am sure it was a pleasant drive. It is good to get out.
    I agree about the humans just doing what they want, the wandering children, and some of them playing tag in the stores. It is crazy, and more the reason I just go in and get out asap.
    Stay safe and happy

  24. The town I live in has over 3,000 people & all we've got is a gas station-convenience store. Fortunately it's only 10 min to all the stores you need, once retail fully reopens. Almost there! Most everyone here is masked, especially during senior hours. The only time people are without is when outside & then masks are popped on when another person is near.

  25. Hi Bonnie,
    I use my phone to help me get closeup view and also to remember numbers, etc. Something I have found extremely helpful is a magnifying glass app on my phone. Use it to see small things like size on a needle. It lights up what you are looking at and can take a picture! And there are many FREE ones.

  26. It so hard to see that not everyone will follow the rules to keep themselves and everyone else safe. I find it quite scary to be honest, we are lucky here in Guernsey it’s a small island and our lockdown has so far worked no new cases for 6 weeks and we are now on step 4 of coming out the children went back to school this week but are being kept in their class bubbles and social distancing in class. With the teachers ensuring they all had wash regularly and spend as much time outside as they can. Luckily they have a lot of doors so each school year is using a different entrance and the two classes have staggered start and finish times. So far it’s working but my grandson hates not being able to see his friend in the other class. We will all get through this but it will take time and everyone pulling together
    Keep safe
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx


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